Pirelli closes on F1 deal

As Motor Sport went to press Pirelli was expected to finally be confirmed as the official Formula 1 tyre supplier for 2011 and beyond.

The teams long ago agreed in principle to go with the Italian company, despite a last-minute effort from Michelin to change their minds. The latter's competitions boss Nick Shorrock met with them in Turkey, but had nothing new to add to an earlier proposal.

A further twist came when FIA president Jean Todt reminded the teams that ultimately the choice was an Fl decision, not theirs.

Pirelli is preferred for commercial reasons, but also because it has agreed to match Bridgestone's current supply arrangements. Michelin wanted to make a significant cut in the number of sets of tyres supplied per driver.

Pirelli was involved in the World Championship as long ago as 1950, and last participated in 1991. This year it moved back into high-profile single-seaters with Grand Prix support series GP3.